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Baltimore Invests $50M In American Rescue Plan Funding In Violence Reduction Efforts

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Mayor Brandon Scott on Tuesday announced Baltimore City is investing $50 million of the city's American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding in violence prevention efforts over the next three years.

The mayor made the announcement in the Park Heights neighborhood of northwest Baltimore, an area Scott said is known for historic levels of violence. He would know, as Park Heights is where Scott grew up.

"I went to elementary school at Malcolm X down the street, and remember even when one of our teachers, Ms. Lombardi, was shot at this corner of Shirley and Reisterstown Road. It's very personal for me," Scott said, pointing to the spot. "This is a neighborhood where I have had many many wonderful times, where my family still runs two businesses, but also where I have lost many friends."

It's the second investment the city is making from its $641 million share of ARPA funding. The $50 million will go to the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE) to fund the city's multifaceted approach to violence and harm reduction.

Mayor Scott said the investment supports key elements of his Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan. Announced in June, the plan has three pillars: Public Health Approach to Violence, Community Engagement and Inter-Agency Collaboration, and Evaluation and Accountability.

The investment will support:

  • Intensive case management
  • Emergency housing and relocation assistance for people at imminent risk of being the victim of violence,
  • Transitional employment programs
  • An increase in Baltimore's capacity to provide mental health services and victim services to survivors of gun violence

MONSE will issue over 70 grants with the funding.

More than 30 grants and contracts will to community-based organizations to administer evidence-based Community Violence Intervention (CVI) programming. A well-known CVI program is Safe Streets, an organization that has members mediate and resolve community conflicts before violence occurs.

The office will also issue grants and contracts to organizations that coordinate responses to traumatic neighborhood events, organizations for domestic violence prevention and organizations that provide direct re-entry services for those leaving prison.

The city said community-based organizations engaged in community violence intervention, victim services, youth justice, community healing and re-entry work can learn more and submit a letter of interest at the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement's Funding Portal.

Grant applications in all project categories will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis based on funding availability.

"Curing Baltimore of violence is my top priority as Mayor, and the dollars we invest today in this vision based in equity, healing, public health, and trauma-informed practices will build safer neighborhoods today, while paying dividends in the future," Mayor Scott said.

Tuesday's announcement is the second in a series of investment announcements for the city's ARPA funding. Last week, the mayor announced the city will invest $80 million into the city's health department over the next four years.

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